We all do it. We all say we're too busy to do this, that or the other. But are we really "too busy"?
About a year ago I started analyzing when and why I would say I was too busy to do something or why I would respond with 'busy' as an answer to how I was doing and decided to make a change. Here's an example because writing this out makes it sound confusing. A friend would ask me to meet for lunch and I would say I was too busy. And then I would be mad because I didn't go spend time with my friend. I mean, at most it would be two hours out of my day including travel time. Now, if I actually had a photo shoot or appointment scheduled that day at that particular time, then I would legitimately be too busy to meet them for lunch. So, was I saying I was too busy because I didn't want to go or because I felt that my time would be better spent doing something else?
I realized I was saying I was too busy because I felt like I was supposed to be working all day, every day to grow my businesses, when, in fact, I wasn't really getting any more work done by not going to do this other thing, like lunch. We say we're busy when what we really mean is (A) we aren't really busy but want you to think we are or (B) we don't want to do this other thing or (C) we didn't plan our day in a way that would allow us to get the important tasks accomplished.
Let's be honest here, those are the only answers when you aren't actually doing work in or on your business. So now if I want to do the thing I've been asked to do, I think about my answer and do a little analysis. So, using the example of being asked to meet for lunch, I would ask myself these questions:
1. Do I really want to go to lunch at this place, at this time, with this person?
2. Will I really get more work done if I don't go?
3. Will I be in a crappy mood for the rest of the day if I miss this opportunity to see this friend?
4. Is this something I really want to do?
Once I have answered those questions, I can make a smart decision that I will be happy with. Too often we use 'too busy' as a catch-all excuse when we really want to say 'no' or 'not right now'. Sometimes by saying 'no' or 'not right now', you save yourself from taking on way more than you can handle and you learn how to set boundaries for your time.
What are boundaries you ask? Well, let me tell you how awesome boundaries are. Once I realized that I wasn't really too busy to do all the things asked of me, I discovered that what I was doing was setting boundaries for myself.
Choosing how to spend my time rather than letting others dictate how it was spent has opened my time up to opportunities I might not otherwise have been able to fit into my schedule. Saying 'no' or 'not right now' shouldn't make you feel guilty, it should make you feel empowered. Guilt is for people who know they should be using their time better. You, on the other hand, are working towards awesomeness and don't have time for guilt. Start setting your own boundaries with your time and you will soon see that you really aren't as busy as you think.
Please leave a comment sharing how you set your boundaries, share this post with others or let me know how I can help you ignite your spark and grow your small/creative business!
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